The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

The Informationist (Vanessa Michael Munroe Series #1)The Informationist, Finished 12-10-12, rating 4/5, 315 pages , pub. 2011

She nodded.  “You and every person who serves merits thanks and commendation, and you most certainly have it.”  She was silent for a moment.  “I can appreciate patriotism, but that’s about as far as it goes.  I’m not like most people,” she said,  “I have no devotion or affinity to any particular country-for that I assume I’d have to experience a sense of belonging.”  She looked at him and searched his eyes for an indication that he understood, then added, “Patriots defend their homeland, Miles.  Where is my home?”

Chapter 7

Vanessa Michael Munroe is a tough woman in a man’s world.  She makes her living finding information and selling it to businessmen who need it to make a deal.  She speaks over 20 languages which serves her well since she spends most of her time overseas, blending in with the natives wherever she goes, even passing as a man is if serves her well.  She grew up in Africa to missionary parents and spent many years working for Francisco, a gunrunner, and when her latest assignment takes her back to Cameroon she runs into her old mentor.

Munroe is an interesting character, but a hard woman to like.  She kills with little remorse and doesn’t seem to have any moral boundaries.  It isn’t that she’s heartless, because she’s not, she can break just like the rest of us.  She’s complicated, but not necessarily in a way that attracts a lot of compassion.   Let’s just say that I wouldn’t want to sit down and have coffee with her, but if I needed to get information and I had millions of dollars, she’d be the first person I’d call.

I thought the African setting was great.  I learned so much and still never felt like I was overwhelmed with too much information.  It was a perfect way for me to experience some of the wilder parts of Africa.  And as much as I liked the setting the mystery was solid and kept me guessing til the end.  I am really looking forward to continuing on with Munroe with the next book in the series.

Many of you remember that I was able to spend a little time with Taylor Stevens at the Bouchercon in October and I am so relieved that I liked the book as much as I liked the author 🙂  I won this book at Book Den last year.  Thanks, Jennifer!